Jacek Dukaj (born 30 July 1974) is a Polish novelist, mainly associated with {{Science Fiction}}. His works explore philosophical themes by building vast, complicated fictional worlds based on certain worldviews (e.g. the philosophy of Aristotle) and showing their real-life consequences. This results in each of his books being nothing like previous ones, as the physical, political, social and linguistic aspects of the world change with each work. Like {{Stanislaw Lem}} (who is often cited as one of Dukaj's inspirations), he frequently invents new words to describe beings and ideas from different realities. His stories often explore the consequences of standard SF tropes from religious point of view.

His protagonists often struggle with their identity, typically (but not universally) starting as weak or broken, but slowly gaining strength and rising as powerful leaders, sometimes reaching {{A God Am I}} status. Many of them are or become {{Transhuman}} of technological kind (while some others, of the magical kind).

Dukajís works are yet to be fully translated to English, but if youíre curious, you can try him out [[http://dukaj.pl/English/ReadingRoom here]].

!!!His works include:
* ''Xavras Wyżryn'' (1997)
* ''In the Land of the Unfaithful'' (2000)
* ''Black Oceans'' (2001)
* ''The Plunderer's Daughter'' (2002)
* ''Extensa'' (2002)
* ''Other Songs'' (2003)
* ''Perfect Imperfection'' (2004)
* ''Ice'' (2007)
* ''Crowman'' (2009)
* ''King of Pain'' (2010)


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!! His work includes examples of:

* AFormYouAreComfortableWith: aliens in the short story ''In partibus infidelium''.
* AGodAmI: famous words spoken by [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski at the very end of ''Ice'']] are basically this.
* AllTheoriesAreTrue: the main premise of most of his works.
* AlternateHistory: ''Ice'', ''Xavras Wyżryn'', and others. Godwin's Law of Alternate History is in effect.
* AnArmAndALeg: [[spoiler:Benedykt Gierosławski after he becomes unfrozen at the end of ''Ice''.]]
* AnIcePerson: [[spoiler: Filip Gierosławski in ''Ice''.]]
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence: many of Dukaj's protagonists. Special mention goes to [[spoiler:Adam Zamoyski from ''Perfect Imperfection''.]]
* BrainComputerInterface: in ''Black Oceans'' and several short stories.
* CelibateHero: Benedykt Gierosławski, most of the time. [[spoiler:He finally gives in to temptation in von Azenhoffís brothel.]]
* CityNoir: arguably, the nameless city in ''Wroniec'' (''Crowman'') after the eponymous bird takes over.
* DeathIsNotPermanent: one of the side effects of mysterious Ice, [[spoiler:Nikola Tesla]] being the most prominent example.
** ''Perfect Imperfection'' begins with a character assassinated twice in a row. Afterwards he appreciates the artfulness of the assassination method.
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: Paweł Kostrzewa from the short story ''The Line of Resistance''. It turns out to be the most difficult goal of his life. For that matter, there is a whole branch of industry devoted to fabricating meanings for people's lives.
* DisappearedDad: Gierosławski's father in ''Ice''. Finding him is one of the protagonist's main quests.
* DisposingOfABody: somewhat played for laughs in ''Ice'' with one of the body-carriers fainting. Also subverted since the goal is to [[spoiler:resurrect Tesla, not get rid of the body.]]
* DoorStopper: Most of his novels are several hundred pages long. Polish edition of ''Ice'' reaches the page count of over a thousand.
* {{Dystopia}}: almost every single world created by Dukaj turns out to be this in some way.
* EndlessWinter: in ''Ice''. Political factions all around the world, but especially in Russia, take opposite sides on the issue whether to fight the winter or to keep it as long as possible and milk it for profits.
* EveryoneIsASuspect: on the Trans-Siberian Express.
* EverythingIsOnline: in ''Black Oceans'', quite literally. Also in ''Perfect Imperfection'', to the point that the fact that characters suddenly find themselves ''offline'' becomes a plot point.
* FakeMemories: one of the indications that a character has undergone {{Mind Rape}} in ''Black Oceans''. Also possibly what happens to [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski in ''Ice'']], although it's hard to determine since [[spoiler:it's not sure if real memories even exist without the Ice.]]
* FisherKing: in the novel ''Inne pieśni'' (''Other Songs''), people called ''kratistoi'' influence everything from weather to humand minds by sheer power of will. In fact, they are so powerful that when any of them physically moves (e.g. to another city), their ''kingdom'' moves as well.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: [[spoiler:Adam Zamoyski]] in ''Perfect Imperfection''.
* FleshGolem: mad scientist called Piegnar tried to create those in ''Ice''. [[spoiler: Apparently, he succeeded as flesh golems attack Benedykt Gierosławski shortly before he meets his father.]]
* ForScience: why Benedykt Gierosławski performs a couple of morally questionable acts (such as corporate espionage) in ''Ice''.
* GeniusBonus: the second encrypted message in ''Ice'' is left for the reader to solve.
* GoodWithNumbers: Benedykt Gierosławski.
* HarmlessFreezing: well, not exactly harmless, but much less harmful than it should be when [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski freezes himself while fighting Frankenstein-like creatures near the end of ''Ice''.]]
* HistoricalBadassUpgrade: Nikola Tesla in ''Ice'' (as if he needed that in the first place). He even [[spoiler:comes back from the dead.]]
* HumanPopsicle: using slightly different technology:[[spoiler:Adam Zamoyski]] in ''Perfect Imperfection''.
* ImpossiblyCoolWeapon: revolver that glows in the dark and shoots bullets that ''freeze the target on impact''.
** The protagonist of ''Other Songs'' gets two, one is a dagger he gets through black-market weapon dealers, imbued with a poison so potent it can one-shot an elephant, the other a sword made of essence of corruption forged specifically to take on an EldritchAbomination.
* InterdimensionalTravelDevice: several in short story collection ''In The Land Of Infidels''.
* InsideAComputerSystem: the story ''Irrehaare'' is set within a VirtualReality MMORPG overtaken by a powerful script-running {{griefer}}, causing the trapped players to run a guerrilla campaign spread over multiple servers against him and his bots.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: ''Ice''. Sweet Jesus, ''Ice''. If you donít find yourself lost by the two-thirds of this book, you are ''good''.
* LossOfIdentity: an extreme case can be found in ''Ice'', where the protagonist claims that he does not exist. Although this may seem paradoxical, his reasoning is quite logical: he's pathologically ashamed, forced to constantly react defensively to other people's actions in order to avoid more shame, so he can never act the way he wants. So does he really exist? [[spoiler: He finally overcomes his emotional problems after confronting his father and from that point forward he can exist again.]]
** Happens to an extent in Hieronim Berbelek's backstory, who retained his memories, but his entire force of will was broken and he was reduced from a powerful military commander to a lowly merchant.
* MadnessMantra: inversion: Hieronim Berbelek counts to stay sane.
* MechanicalEvolution: found in ''Perfekcyjna niedoskonałość'' (''Perfect Imperfection'') in form of terryfying Wars: {{Pocket Dimension}}s full of ever-evolving killing machines.
* MindVirus: a strange one in [[spoiler:''Black Oceans'' causes telepathy.]]
* MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness: in most cases leaning heavily towards the hard end of the scale.
* MoodWhiplash: lovemaking scene in ''Extensa'' suddenly ends with [[spoiler: protagonistís wife hitting her head on a rock and dying.]]
* NeuralImplanting: notably in ''Black Oceans''.
* UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla: one of the main characters in ''Ice''.
* PercussiveMaintenance: hilariously, the ''default'' method of interacting with one of the computers in ''Perfect Imperfection''.
* ProbabilityPileup: invoked in-story by one of the characters in ''Black Oceans''.
* RandomNumberGod: probability and unpredictability are amongst the most popular of Dukajís themes.
* RasputinianDeath: [[spoiler:soldier who protects Marina]] in ''Black Oceans''. Also, [[spoiler:Rasputin himself]] in ''Ice''.
* RasputinTheMadMonk: appears near the end of "Ice" [[spoiler:and is killed by the main character (which uderstandably takes a little while).]]
* ResurrectionSickness: experienced by [[spoiler:Angelika]] in ''Perfect Imperfection''.
* ScienceHero: about 80% of Dukaj's protagonists.
* SelfServingMemory: ''Ice'' argues that every memory is like that: the memories are altered, created or deleted to fit our present state of mind.
* StarfishAliens: many, many kinds. Special mention goes to ''skoliodoi'' in ''Other Songs''.
* TakeOverTheWorld: what [[spoiler: Benedykt Gierosławski]] is hoping to achieve in [[spoiler:the final chapters of ''Ice'']]. And the book strongly suggests that he will succeed.
* TastesLikeDiabetes: one of the stories from ''In The Land Of Infidels'' involves an InterdimensionalTravelDevice used to travel onto Earth where the Christ was never crucified. The resulting world is so full of love, forgiveness and compassion, that visitors go crazy.
* TechnologyPorn: in bucketloads.
* TheEndingChangesEverything: [[spoiler:''Black Oceans''.]]
* TheSingularity: the protagonist of ''Perfekcyjna niedoskonałość'' (''Perfect Imperfection'') lives in a world after one. This is probably the most notable case, there also are many others.
* TheTunguskaEvent: what set in motion the events of ''Lůd'' (''Ice''). It turns out to be [[spoiler:a meteorite made of so-called tungetitium, element not found on Earth with unique, world-changing physical properties]], which makes it extremely valuable.
* ThrillerOnTheExpress: about one-third of ''Ice''.
* VictoryIsBoring: for the gamer protagonist of ''The Line of Resistance''. Because of that he's constantly on the verge of suicide.
* ViewersAreGeniuses: some of Dukajís work are almost incomprehensible if you donít happen to be a philosophy major. Most require at least a decent understanding of physics, mathematics and/or anthropology.
* WorldBuilding: AW HELL YEAH. Dukaj is known for things like building rich and unique universes for purposes of a single short story, or setting a single novel in a world that could accommodate several story cycles.
* WoundThatWillNotHeal: King of Pain in one of the short stories suffers from a specific brain mutation that causes constant, neverending pain.
* YourMindMakesItReal: many times, especially in ''Irrehaare''.
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